Providence Schools Report is out – and it’s shocking

“I wasn’t surprised,” said Infante-Green. “But I didn’t know that it was this bad. It is heartbreaking to see how dysfunctional this school system is.”

It’s no surprise that Providence has struggled with their school system. The report that was released today sheds a dim light on what many knew all along. The report found that the vast majority of students are not learning or even near grade level.

The report reports the following …

* With rare exception, teachers are demoralized and feel unsupported.

* Most parents feel shut out of their children’s education.

* Principals find it very difficult to demonstrate leadership.

* Many school buildings are deteriorating across the city, and some are even dangerous to students’ and teachers’ wellbeing.

“Providence Public School District is overburdened with multiple, overlapping sources of governance and bureaucracy with no clear domains of authority and very little scope for transformative change. The resulting structures paralyze action, stifle innovation, and create dysfunction and inconsistency across the district. In the face of the current governance structure, stakeholders understandably expressed little to no hope for serious reform.”

The report states that school facilities were in “deplorable” condition and cited examples of lead drinking water, lead paint, mold, “broken asbestos tiles,” rodents, and no heat or air conditioning.

The report states that Providence public schools are plagued with chronic absenteeism, both of students and teachers, causing a challenge in the district. A form letter used by many respondents called for stopping teachers who abused the system. Relatedly, there were many complaints about the lack of substitute teachers and the resulting problems of overcrowding in classrooms – and the impact on learning.

Respondents also agreed about the need for a teacher corps that more closely reflected the demographic makeup of the student body, calling for the hiring of more racially diverse teachers and citing the importance of students’ seeing themselves reflected in the leadership of the school system.

Despite the reviews stated here, there is still no talk of a state takeover of the Providence school system.

To read the report, click here….

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